This was a difficult boot to test, because it wore so differently with the footbed supplied, compared with my Orthosole. With Jack Wolfskin’s flat, thin footbed the boots felt high-volume and unsupportive, verging on floppy. With my footbeds, my foot was higher in the boot and had instep support, making them much more wearable.
The boot is high for a mid (as high as Salewa’s, but slightly lower at the back), with a rounded forward flex and reasonable torsional support. But the lacing run is very short, starting well behind the toes, with four eyelets leading to a deeply recessed heel anchor, and up to two ankle hooks. The heel and midfoot are secure, thanks to a cupped, reinforced box, a relatively narrow ‘waist’ and well-placed anchor. But with nothing securing the boot from instep to toes, plus a very roomy forefoot, the front felt adrift.
Part of the package is Jack Wolfskin’s Force Plate – a stabilising forefoot plate for a dynamic and responsive ride’ – but although the forefoot does have a firm base and structure, any benefit is overridden by the high volume and lack of lacing. The boot also has ‘Wire Support’, which forms a triangle from rubber rand to last lace loop and down to the forward flex point, but it didn’t help. Cushioning is good, a low rubber rand and small toe cap protect against rocks (necessary on a textile boot), and the sole unit is excellent with good lug depth and pattern and an aggressive heel. Better lacing would make all the difference.
Read more: Three season boot review
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For the three season boot review in the spring issue of The Great Outdoors, Judy Armstrong tests the Jack Wolfskin Force Striker Texapore Mid